The final day kicked off with Nigel taking a group of students to see Sarah Habershon at TheGuardian. Sarah has been championing illustrators for the last 17 years at The Guardian. She is a well known advocate for illustration and was referred to as such by Michael Kirkham in the previous days tal at the City Lit. She spent an hour of her valuable time to explain the process of commissioning an illustrator to our students.her presentation was hugely informative. Thanks to Tom Barwick for organising this visit.
Meanwhile Nick Mott took students to see the well known Children’s Book publisher Usborne. Mary Cartwright spent the best part of an hour discussing the children’s book publishing industry to our students.
Tilly McKerrow took a group to Bernstein&Andriulli for the 2nd visit of the week to this fantastic agency. Thanks once again to the team at B&A for their time. The students really appreciate it.
DebutArt was the next visit for students. Nick took 11 students to see Andrew Coningsby at this important illustration agency. Thanks to Andrew and his team for taking the time to see our students.
Finally Nigel took students for the last of the 23 visits during the week. CarltonPublishing stands out in that it’s range of publications is particularly broad and diverse. It was really exciting to see how they approach the production of a book. They are unashamedly commercial in their intentions but nevertheless produce very high quality books. both Emily and Clare spent around an hour with out students. Their clear passion for working with Illustrators shone through. There description of the Bologna Book Fair has I am sure whetted the students appetite for a visit in the 3rd year of the course.
All that is left of the week now is to relax with a long tall glass of beer and maybe a few ‘magic’ tricks………..
Wednesday was the day of the Illustration Forum at The City Literary Institute but before that, in the morning Tilly took a group of students t see the long established illustration Agency, ‘Folio’ just of the Kingsway near Holborn. Former Falmouth illustration graduate Kim Meech now works as a rep at Folio and met our students for this visit. Folio agency has a long history of representing successful and interesting commercial illustrators. Former Falmouth graduate Illustrator Owen Davey is currently on their books. Folio agents talked to students about freelancing, the role of an agent, different types of commissions, how to put together a commercial portfolio and much more. The advice was invaluable and gave students a real insight into a career in illustration.
While Tilly and the students were at Folio Nigel and Nick met at TheCityLiteraryInstitute to get ready for the afternoon’s Illustration Forum. The City Lit is a fantastic Adult Education Institution that has been providing learning opportunities for the people of London for many years. It is also the first place that Nigel ever taught and so was something of a trip down memory lane for him. students began filing into the small but atmospheric lecture theatre just before 1pm. Much to Nigel’s relief all three speakers arrived in time for the start of the afternoon.
First to speak was VivianeSchwarz. Viv is an alumni of Falmouth University having studied on both BA and MA courses. Her talk was both hugely entertaining and informative. Her unique take on life shone through and her ability to cut through and communicate to subtle details of life that we often miss was clear. Her development of characters through a joyous engagement with media and the tools that she has developed was fascinating. Her ‘ghost’ installation project caught everybody’s eye.
Second to speak was the inspirational reportage illustrator, OlivierKugler. Olivier is well known for his work with the Guardian but this is the tip of the ice berg in terms of his career, having worked extensively in the U.S. and also Europe. He is an award winning illustrator whose approach to illustration is founded in a desire to connect with social issues, such as homelessness and more recently the Syrian refugee crisis. His wide ranging talk encompassed his early career working in New York and the influence that his American tutors such as Marshall Arisman had on his work. His more recent work has been based upon his direct experiences of meeting Syrian refugees and telling their stories in a unique a compelling montage of journalism and illustration. We are really looking forward to seeing the outcome of his most recent project to document the UK fishing industry.
Finally the third speaker shone a light on the work of the editorial illustrator. Michael Kirkham had travelled down from Edinburgh for this Forum for which we are extremely grateful. Michael perfectly outlined the process of editorial illustration. He has worked for some of the best known editorial clients including most notably The Guardian and knows a thing or two about the ptressures of working in this sector of the industry. He discussed his approach to the figure and also his focus on searching for personality rather than style within his work. Most tellingly he opened up on the ideas process. His focus is on avoiding searching for an idea but instead champions the notion of just pushing the process of just ‘drawing’ around the core theme of a text. Essentially just keeping the search field for ideas as open for as long as possible before committing to the final concept. Judging by the work that he was showing us he has got the formula just right.. A really great end to to a fantastic afternoon of talks.
Falmouth Illustration students at the London Illustration Forum
viv Schwarz talking at the London Illustration Forum
Michael Kirkham talking at the 2018 forum
Students at the Folio visit
viv Schwarz talking at the London Illustration Forum
Olivier Kugler talking at the London Illustration Forum
Michael Kirkham talking at the London Illustration Forum
Last week’s Falmouth Illustration trip was a huge success with around 40 students making the trip to the Big Apple. Numerous visits took place during the week and included some of the world’s top art directors. As with the trip that was happening simultaneously in London students had done a great job of securing some really stellar visits that amongst others included:
Mendola Illustration Agency
Bernstein & Andriulli
The New York Times
The Wall Street Journal
It is a major challenge to secure visits of this calibre for even a professional illustrator and so the students should be applauded for their success.
The purpose of these visits is to get feedback on their portfolios of work at the end of the course with a view to fine tuning just before they enter the ‘real world’ of illustration. This year however, one student, went one further and was commissioned by The iconic New York Times. Tom Paterson showed his portfolio to the art directors at the NYT and before the end of the afternoon was commissioned to produce an illustration for the online version of the newspaper. The deadline was the next day for the rough and the end of the week for the artwork. With a borrowed iPad and a quick run through ProCreate he got to work, eventually delivering the artwork on time. This is a first for any student on this study trip and congratulations go to Tom for doing such a great job with the illustration.
Another highlight was meeting up with Beth Wheatley and fellow Falmouth alumni Sophie at Vault 49. Former Falmouth Illustration graduate Beth now works at this well known Brand Design Agency that originated in the UK but is now based in midtown Manhattan. The story of her journey from Falmouth to New York was an inspiration to the students on that visit. It was also great to meet up with senior designers Jonathan and Richard for a drink afterwards.
Thanks to the students for making the trip such an enjoyable and successful one. I am sure that they have learnt a great deal about their work and the industry from the week. Thanks also go to all of the designers and art directors that were visited during the week for making time available to see our students. Much appreciated. Thanks also go out to Sue Clarke and Keryn Bibby and the Arta dmin team for organising such a successful trip. Here are the photos that I have at the moment. I will try and post more as they come in….
While their fellow students were visiting New York Art directors a number of Falmouth 3rd year illustration students visited London to get their work in front of some of the top art directors in the world as part of their professional practice submission. Included in these visits was feedback from some very established alumni and also significant friends of the course, including Chloe Luxford, Lauren Humphrey, Jamie Edler, Amy Kitcherside and of course Sam Arthur from Nobrow and Flying Eye Books.
The students did an incredibly professional job of securing some great visits that included amongst others:
Wide Eyed Editions (Quarto)
St James Park Squirrel
Paul Gravett Talk at the House of Illustration
Many thanks to all of the professionals that gave their time to give such insightful feedback to the students. Here are some photographs from the week…..
The New Designers 2017 show comes to an end later today. Sophie Melissa Walker won one of the main ND awards following in the footsteps of Falmouth Graduate Oscar Mitchell who won the same award last year. She also joins Olivia Healy who was presented with her coveted D&AD Yellow Pencil earlier in the week.
The Private View was well attended with a good number of art directors present. These graduate showcases are an important opportunity for students to start networking with industry. The New Blood event came down yesterday. Lots of interest was expressed by visitors to the Falmouth stand throughout the three days of the show, with the comments book full of business cards and potential contacts. The staff at Falmouth will endeavour to make these contacts available to Falmouth students very soon.
Many thanks to all students and staff that worked extremely hard to make both of these showcases so successful. We now look forward to seeing the students at the graduation ceremony in Falmouth in just under two weeks time…
It’s amazing how quickly a year passes. Here we are again in London with the work of our talented illustration graduates of 2017. It has been a big effort on the part of both staff and students to get work ready for both shows but it has been worth it. The work for both shows was driven up from Falmouth on Monday. Both shows were put up on the Tuesday. Although staff are well seasoned in getting the work up on the wall there is still a nervous tension in the air as the clock ticks down to the point where we have to get out and let the judges in. Big thanks go out to Sue Clarke and Nick Mott for the New Blood build while Keryn Bibby, Tilly McKerrow, Francisco Sousa Lobo and Lydia Hopwood focussed on the larger New Designers Show.
The D&AD New Blood Private View took place last night (Tuesday 4th July). As always seems to happen, the weather seemed to improve on the rain that we left in Cornwall resulting in a hot and sticky Truman Brewery. The PV was well attended with a good number of industry people in attendance. As often happens at Private Views the real business of ‘looking’ at work became more difficult as the space got more and more crowded but it became pretty clear that the Falmouth stand was beginning to attract interest from the likes of the Guardian, Dorling Kindersley, Egmont and others and it was great to see the graduates using the knowledge gained over the three years of the course to engage in networking with these potential future clients. Olivia Healy was recognised for her yellow Pencil win while Calum Heath received a coveted ‘one to watch’ sticker on his work. The work looked amazing on the wall with a great array of dummy books in evidence. Thanks to Keryn and Sue for their hard work in designing the drop banners and the books for the show.
While the New Blood show was going up, across town, Keryn, Tilly, Francisco and Lydia were putting up the New Designers show ahead of tonight’s Private View (Wednesday 5th). This is a much bigger show held in the Business Design centre. The Falmouth Graduates have done a great job of preparing their individual boards and this show is also looking amazing. If you are in London then come along to either or both shows and say hello. More photos and news will follow over the next few days…..
Sue Clarke and several BA and MA illustration students attended the Bologna Children’s Book Fair last week. As the most important annual international platform for children’s publishing it was an amazing opportunity for the students to show their portfolios to a range of publishers from different countries, to meet lots of other illustrators, to gain enormous insight into current trends and thinking in this field through the many talks and workshops, and to be inspired by the various illustration exhibitions.
Two BA illustration alumni won Bologna Ragazzi Awards this year. Will Grill won the Ragazzi Non Fiction Award for his book ‘The Wolves of Currumpaw’, published by Flying Eye Books, and Emma Lewis won the Ragazzi Opera Prima Award for her book ‘The Museum of Me’, by Tate Publishing. It was very exciting to see their work so celebrated at such an important and prestigious event and so prominently displayed on huge screens, banners and cabinets around the fair and in book shops around Bologna. It was also great to be able to attend the presentations of these awards and hear why the judges selected them.
With Will Grill’s book, in terms of the illustrations, the judges were drawn to the contemporary visual but traditional honest technique, the beautiful balance of art and non-fiction, and the rhythm of the book which they described as a ‘visual symphony’. In terms of his writing they applauded its intensity and the rare way that it doesn’t hide difficult emotions for children. Sam Arthur, co-founder of Flying Eye Books, took part in the discussion and was able to describe the lengths that Will went to in researching the book, including living in the wild, literally with wolves!
With Emma’s book the panel discussed how intriguing, personal and imaginative her illustrations are. They felt that the message behind the book is a really important one, in helping children learn how to look at the world around them. They described the book as a door to discovery, not just to art and artefacts, but to themselves. Holly Tonks, commissioning editor from Tate Publishing, discussed how the book really embraces the Tate’s ethos in that it is a vehicle to help break down the boundaries of children going into galleries. She discussed the integrity behind the book and how great it is that Emma made the book she wanted to make and for it to be so recognised and applauded Internationally. It is now due to be published in 11 countries.
Emma Lewis’s work for ‘The Museum of Me’ was also selected for the main exhibition at the fair, showcasing contemporary innovative work in this field. She was able to attend the ceremony at which all selected illustrators were applauded in turn by the huge jury panel and the very lively audience!
The whole awe inspiring (and slightly overwhelming) event was a real eye opening experience for our current students (and for several other falmouth illustration alumni who we unexpectedly bumped into there!). They did fantastically well to get 11 appointments with publishers over the week, from which they got really useful and positive feedback on their work. Having started the week with slight trepidation it was great to see them leaving the fair full of confidence and inspiration for their work (and great to have chance to celebrate such a potentially pivotal time over a few beers in hot sunny Bologna!)
Last month 1st year Falmouth Illustration students worked on ‘Project X’. This project has a long history and go back many years. Essentially it is a challenge to tackle an hypothetical editorial commission in a couple of days to test the ideas generation skills that they have been developing throughout the 1st semester. Here are some samples of the outcomes….
‘Clingfilm’ is the brainchild of new Falmouth Illustration lecturer, Francisco Sousa Lobo. Francisco has brought both his love of film and comics into the third year studio through art directing this new innovative zine with a range of third year Falmouth Illustration students contributing interpretations of their favourite films to this first risograph project. The limitations of the risograph printing process has brought the best out of students as has the challenge of distilling the films into short narrative sequences. Samples of the spreads can be seen here. The book is currently in production with an edition of 50 planned. Many thanks to Dion in the Graphic Design department, the illustration students involved and of course Francisco.